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2 Weeks in Switzerland in December

Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 08:57 AM
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2 Weeks in Switzerland in December

Together with my wife we are thinking of revisiting Switzerland after 6 years, this time in the first 2 weeks of December 2015. Last time we went, we had Geneve, Interlaken, Lucerne and Zurich as a base, and it was September, then we took some day trips from there using trains. We are thinking of either using the same bases and visit some different places, or else staying in different cities. What other cities are a good base that we can do easy day trips using trains and also with some Christmas spirit? Zurich must definitely be there as a last base to fly back to home. For the first base I need someone that I can easily reach either from Munich or Milan with train not too long? I'm ready to use the same bases as I did when we last visited. I can do 3 bases instead of 4. Btw, we like scenery, museums and architecture.
reutiz is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 09:40 AM
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I would suggest Bern and Basel as alternatives. If you stay in Basel you can enjoy the Christmas Market there which is one of the biggest in Europe and also do a day trip to Strasbourg in France where there is another excellent Christmas Market.

Basel, Bern and Zurich are the pricipal Christmas Markets in Switzerland. That should certainly get you some Chirstmas spirit.
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 09:48 AM
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First base: go back to Lucerne. There are quite a few Christmas markets around including Lucerne, Einsiedeln and Rapperswil. Rapperswil is my favourite.
kleeblatt is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Are you going by car or train - I assume train but if going to cities cars are viable - not nearly the hassle you have in cities in say Italy or other countries - if going by train check out these IMO superb sites:; and

If you want to explore a new Alpine area head for the Engadine and St Moritz from where the world=famous Bernina Pass Railway - to me not only the most awesomely scenic in Switzerland but in all of Europe. The weather over there, close to Italy may also be warmer and that is a great gateway to going onto Milan, Italy by train - direct trains from Tirano, Italian terminus of the Bernina Pass Railway, the only north-south rail crossing of the Alps not to use tunnels but to crest up and over them!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2014, 01:20 AM
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Basel > Bern > Lucerne > Zurcih....what do you suggest? Will they be nice in December and nice day trips from there? May be 4 nights each?
reutiz is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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Actually December is not an optimum time for Switzerland outside of skiing IME - but cities are cities - from Basel you could easily day trip to Colmar, France, a gem of a regional town in the Alscae wine district - from Berne or Lucerne you could go to say Englelberg for Mt Titlis or Lucerne for Mt Pilatus - both are thrilling ascents.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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Hi reutiz,

Well, Basel, Bern, Luzern, and Zurich are all within about one-hour's train ride of each other. It would be a better use of your time to base in just one and then do day-trips to the other ones you want to see. Just changing hotels can cost you about half a day of time due to the chores of packing up and checking out then checking in and unpacking again. So, it might be more efficient to just do day-trips.

I think you may want to see another spot, maybe in the French-speaking part. I know you've seen Geneva, so I would suggest Montreux on the other end of the lake, or maybe Friburg. Montreux has a nice Christmas market that is distinctly different from those in the German part of the country -- you'll get foie gras and fondue instead of Wurst, for instance.

So I would recommend maybe a 2-base vacation, one base to see Luzern, Basel, and Bern, and one base in the French part.

Have fun as you plan!

swandav2000 is online now  
Old Nov 24th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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One possible day trip from Lucerne or Bern or Zurich would be to go to Einselden, a famous pilgrimage mecca not far from Zurich:
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2014, 12:18 PM
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" I need someone that I can easily reach either from Munich or Milan with train not too long?"
From the city centers or from the airports (big difference)?
For Christmas market things, you may check Montreux too
neckervd is offline  
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